life happens. before the hands can transcribe thought to script, the moment is gone. you keep on living. the details fade, and you can’t remember why you wrote that note about the ________.
but maybe it’s not the details that are important tomorrow.
today, six months later, i look at my notes:
paris day three:
work, buy a french wardrobe due to climbing clothes selection
head to the louvre – seeing masterpieces i studied in college, things i wrote papers about, huge endless rooms of the world’s best art, surrounded by soldiers, never felt unsafe but rather safer amongst it all
mona lisa thoughts, masterpiece thoughts, all the thoughts
ice cream at the famous place on the island, patron saints of paris watching over
meditation with aunt and friends followed by dinner, another night falling asleep as my auntie drove me home.
by the bastille
paris day four:
breakfast – family does a mooc about versailles but it’s in french, so i do work
opera bastille – l’elisir d’amore by gaetano donizetti – lead female was amazing, a fun comic light hearted performance, fun to get dressed up, black and white – the colors of france
paris day five:
Versailles food market for some lunch fixings, baguettes, cheese, crepes, french yelling
family bonding – funny how us schneider women are all the same, the “outlaws” instead of inlaws
sunday – slow and simple
roasted chestnuts (french word for that = marrons chauds), i thought it was just a song
paris day six:
train in by myself
notre dame – eavesdrop on a tour guide
shakespeare and co.
wander around latin quarter – get lost, curving streets meandering and turing into dead ends, endless cafes and creperies
tuileries garden stroll
champ elysees christmas market
petit palace / gran palace
arc de triomphe
crepe – egypt man
centre pompidou – pollack, matisse, different vibe, outdoor escalators reminded me of hong kong, best view from the top, tired legs, tired soul
eiffel tower always in the distance, standing tall watching over its city
wake up in the french countryside to a crazy sunrise
versailles – palace and gardens, meandering with audio tour, wondering what it would be like to have a bedroom like those…
thai food for lunch with annie and jim
movie night – hunger games mockingly part 2
museo d’Orsay – prostitutes exhibit, one elite parisian prostitute with last name schneider, maybe a past life… women in photography exhibit, giant inner working of clock, my monets
tour with ethan’s mom – local view, born and raised, best pastries, stories from long ago
thanksgiving dinner with family complete with my favorite, a delicious homemade pumpkin pie
fly home via iceland and maryland to st. louis to meet family for thanksgiving weekend
today, six months later, i remember:
i remember the graffiti. after coming from hong kong, the artistic expression flying by me through the train window was comforting. back in a space known for its creativity. the culture and language that gave us avant garde. without stalking the historical cafes where artist after artist stewed over music and poetry, i felt it in the air. in the architecture. in the opera. in the fashion. in the people. there is a certain hype that surrounds paris, and i will remember being entirely swept up in it.
i remember the aloneness. i haven’t walked around alone in a big city in quite some time. aimlessly wandering the streets with no specific destination in mind. seeing where a left might take me instead of a right. missing a subway station on purpose so i can backtrack by foot through the chaos. walking around paris reminded me of when i lived in buenos aires. they say it is the paris of south america, and if i had to go by the way both cities made me feel, i’d have to agree. the magic is palpable. to passerbys, my joy probably was too.
i remember the meals. my aunt and cousins sat down together for dinner almost every night. the bell would ring and supper would be served. the busyness of the day would come to a pause as we all gathered around the table to fuel our bodies with food and minds with conversation. perhaps they don’t do this all the time. maybe it was because i was in town. but, either way, it was a cherished gift. a chance to get to know the relatives who have lived so far away all this time. a chance to learn and debate and laugh and eat fresh baguettes and drink french wine.
i’ll always remember what i remember. the specifics aren’t really that important anymore.